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    Sean Kheraj

    In what ways can 3D objects and virtual reality heighten the effectiveness of historians as teachers, communicators, and researchers?


    The use of 3D objects and virtual reality are being embraced by a multitude of professions. They are effective for historians as teachers because they are able to offer students a way to critically think about what they are learning. Critical thinking can be developed through 3D or virtually reality because they are putting themselves into the world to learn about and critically examine its aspects. It is difficult to look at something from the outside and be critical about it because we do not know much about it. Although virtual reality only allows students to see what has been created, they are able to gain a new perspective which is essential in their thinking and understanding. However, the CBC Radio audio explains that with the use of VR, teachings can be viewed as a fantasy land. This is not effective for the teachings because VR should aid, not alter lessons. For historical researchers, VR and 3D reality can promote further research. The 3D Virtual Buildings Project brought to life archival photos to be analyzed. From this researchers can develop ideas for further research such as looking at the facade of an old bookstore can prompt them to research the popular genre of literature that members of society during that time read. Historians as communicators are able to develop assumptions and with research they can present findings of what they discovered through the analysis of 3D and virtual realities.

    Connor Pantaleo

    Scanning 3d objects is a very powerful tool we can use to explore the past. With 3D objects we can experience many things that would not be possible. For example we could use scanning to see objects which are otherwise too delate for people to handle. We can rebuild cities and ancient sites to experience places that have been destroyed. Or we can take tours of historic buildings without leaving the comfor of our own home. The possibilities of a virtual world can bring us many advancements to how we study the past possibly even bringing it into the present.


    3D objects and virtual reality can be effective for historians as teachers, communicators, and researchers. In promoting learning experience for children, no matter the age group, virtual reality and 3D objects can enhance the “fun” incentive for children to participate. Thus, they can have a greater potential to “observe information.” As suggested by Bonnett, there can be various strategies to increase students’ interest in learning. For example, “widen the domain of history from political and social history to include cultural history.” Widen the domain can increase options for students to participate and engage in learning experiences. The second strategy is to “make students participants in the generation of historical models, textual and three-dimensional,” gaining the hands-on experience can be helpful that it reinforced the fun experience, to comprehend the historical information better and add their interpretations to the event. It will also help communicators and researchers to retell the information, and convert them into story formats.


    When looking at 3D printing and virtual reality it is evident that both can be used to heighten the effectiveness of historians. Both offer the ability to view history in a different way. When looking at 3D printing, historians can use this as a way to view something from the past. This tool can also be used in order to view cities as well as infrastructure. However, with this tool, it is extremely time consuming and costly. Virtual reality, like 3D printing, can also be used to view the past. Due to modern technology, virtual reality is extremely effective. You have the ability to be transported into a different time period within seconds and can roam freely within the streets. It also allows you to view the clothing, way of living and food that existed during this specific time period being studied,. However, if a program has not been created yet, students will not have the ability to view these areas.


    3D and virtual reality can help historians as teachers by allowing them to take their students into the site or battle field or what ever they are studying, this allows a wide range of students to gain a greater understanding of the subject, but it also cuts down on costs. By allowing a 3-D render of say the Parthenon in Greece a place that would only be open to students who can afford to take time out and travel to the site it self. This cheapness also I think allows a historian/ teacher to fulfill the role of teacher much better without worrying about costs. In addition to this students can visualize and even get a feel for the site/ object that the historian is teaching. As a researcher 3-D and VR can help a historian understand the site and object , by not having to worry about other researchers and visitors to the site getting in the way or weather or any other of the many problems that can arise while visiting a site can bring, the historian can focus on the site or object and study every part of the subject.


    Virtual reality is illustrated through the use of 3D objects. Virtual reality is effective in the sense that students can experience environments and artifacts on a while new level. In the CBC radio podcast, museums now have a VR exhibit where you can go inside an old steam train and even pull the horn! This was not possible before because the original steam train, after years of wear and tear had to be put in a protective glass case away to be kept from dirt and grimy hands. Coming form an education background this is a great way to increase interest among student and make learning more interactive. However a question that really resonated with me was “Are you really learning? Or is VR just an experience? In my opinion people learn from experiences. However, as ‘cool’ as it is, you cannot put a price on a genuine artifact. Experiencing a VR artifact vs. looking at the real thing is different.CBC made a comment that it can also become boring very fast, which can create opposite effects for museums.

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